Verplanck Breaks Guinness World Record at Annual Italian Feast
VERPLANCK, N.Y. – More than 330 people kicked their feet in unison for a record-breaking tarantella dance Saturday at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Society’s 91st annual Italian Feast.
Prior to Saturday, the largest tarantella dance involved 316 participants who danced for five minutes at an Italian festival in Germany on May 21, 2009. Tarantella dancers went six minutes in Verplanck Saturday, which would set a new Guinness World Record. The new record has not yet been recorded on the Guinness World Records website.
One person on Facebook wrote, “We did it. An amazing night and memory.”
The Italian folk dance for couples involves light, quick steps and “teasing, flirtatious behavior between partners,” according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica website. Women dancers may carry tambourines. The dance’s origin is connected with tarantism, a disease or form of hysteria brought on by the bite of a tarantula spider that was seen in Italy in the 15th to the 17th century. All three words derive from the name of the town of Taranto, Italy, according to the website.
The five-day festival also featured the return of the Coconut Toss booth for the first time since the 1970s and booths for several local charitable organizations, including My Brother Vinny and Love Holds Life. Read more about these organizations and the events at the Verplanck summer staple.